Article published in:Pragmatics, Humour and the Internet
Edited by Francisco Yus
[Internet Pragmatics 4:1] 2021
► pp. 12–27
The internet and social media as a theme and channel of humor
This paper deploys the tools of relevance theory to establish a common pragmatic mechanism operating in humorous texts (stand-up comedy, jokes, sketches) themed on the omnipresence of the Internet and social media in human life. It is postulated that this mechanism resides in incongruity between shared cultural assumptions expressing high esteem for rational actions and informative communication, and private assumptions endorsed by internet application users, who find phatic communication pleasurable. It is claimed that incongruity so understood is not a central but additional pragmatic mechanism in various humorous genres, and it tends not to be resolved, as tension between these two sets of assumptions lingers on.
Keywords: cultural representations, incongruity, normative bias, private beliefs, phatic internet, relevance theory
Published online: 08 July 2020
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